Electric blowers are often lighter and quieter than gas blowers. They also require no gas and oil and eliminate the need to pull-start, resulting in an instant start, every time. However, electric blowers are often less powerful than gas blowers. And electric blowers are recommended for those with smaller areas to clean up (usually under 100 yards from an outlet) because of the constraint of using an extension cord.
Traditional gas blowers provide consistent and dependable power. Further, gas blowers offer maximum mobility and range. Gas blowers are ideal for clearing large areas, farther away from a power outlet.
There are three types of blowers: 1) dedicated blowers, 2) blower/vacs and 3) backpack blowers.
Dedicated blowers perform the basic blowing function, ideal for clearing decks, patios, sidewalks and driveways. Blower/vacs allow the operator to not only clear leaves and debris, but also to vacuum bag that debris. Blower/vacs also have the added function of a mulcher, reducing 10 bags of debris to just one bag. Additionally, these finely shredded leaves can be used as mulch on flowerbeds and gardens to improve soil and protect plants from cold weather. Blowers that can be converted to vacuums often require the operator to attach tubes and bags when vacuuming. Some blower/vacs have the ability to switch between the two operations with the flip of a switch, without adding/removing extra parts, for additional versatility.
Backpack blowers provide additional comfort and ease of use, as well as better performance. Most professional backpack blowers have heavy-duty or dual-element air filters to help keep the engine free of dirt and dust. These blowers are ideal for extended use.
Whether gas or electric, better blower performance is measured by the ability of the blower to generate both air velocity (MPH) and air volume (CFM). High velocity alone will not perform well. The best blowers have high measures of both MPH and CFM and are better suited to larger jobs, such as moving large amounts of leaves and debris.
Throttle controls also play a part in the performance and ease of use for blowers. Throttle controls can either be full throttle only or variable speed. Although many homeowners use their blowers at full throttle most of the time, others prefer variable speed control that allows them to control the force of air around delicate plants, flowerbeds or swimming pools.
Check your state and local codes before starting any project. Follow all safety precautions. Information in this document has been furnished by the North American Retail Hardware Association (NRHA) and associated contributors. Every effort has been made to ensure accuracy and safety. Neither NRHA, any contributor nor the retailer can be held responsible for damages or injuries resulting from the use of the information in this document.